Case Study: Content on Pinterest

When launching on Pinterest, one of the biggest challenges companies face is content. What should they share? What do their customers find engaging? How can this content be tied back to the brand to drive awareness and sales?  In addition to this content, how should boards be set-up for customer use? Let’s take a look at how one company, Philips, is tackling these matters.

The Set-up

Phillips is an extremely complex company, offering a wide range of product types. This can be especially tough for companies when launching on social media. Philips likely asked: Should each product have its own Pinterest page? Should product groups be tied together? The great thing about Pinterest is that it offers consumers the ability to follow specific boards. This  means that rather than create and manage separate pages for each product, companies can use one page and assign specific boards to each product group. This is especially helpful for companies like Philips who don’t have standout brands (For example, a company like Procter and Gamble should give a brand like Crest its own page).

Philips launched on Pinterest using this idea, creating one single page for the company and developing various boards related to  different industries, such as lighting and healthcare. The set-up allows Philips to more easily manage the page, and gives consumers the ability to only follow boards with product content they find most appealing. Additionally, with everything living on one page, the likelihood a consumer discovers Philips products they weren’t aware of is greater.

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The Content

Content varies across the board from company to company on Pinterest. However, three strategies frequently are used:

  1. One strategy involves pinning content that is  inspirational to consumers, such as traveling photos, recipes, crafting ideas, and style. These pins typically focus on  what a company’s consumers are actually doing in their lives. For example, Eddie Bauer might pin hiking photographs, knowing most of its customers have an active, outdoor lifestyle.
  2. The second strategy involves product-focused pins, where brands repin their products for the consumers. A great example of a company doing this is Nordstrom, which frequently pins the latest styles and sales from its website on their Pinterest page. This gives customers an access point to what the company is actually selling.
  3. Finally, a majority of brands combine the two previous strategies to form a mix of rich content that speaks to all users.

Philips is currently using the first strategy, posting inspirational photos related to their products. For example, one board focuses on lighting, sharing photographs of visually captivating light installations. Another board shares photographs of innovative designs by Philips and various artists.

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Philips could improve upon the content it posts. To increase product awareness and give all product groups exposure on the site, Philips needs to include product-based content.  For example, Philips could create boards of people using Philips lights, tips on shaving with their razors,  dental recommendations, and people enjoying a cup of coffee from their Phillips coffeemaker. In doing so, Philips will see more engagement, gaining further product awareness and purchase intent.

The moral of the story is that companies need to think deeply about their Pinterest content strategy. Companies must determine what type of content they want to pin, how users might engage with it, and how to organize the content in a way that makes sense. It can be a challenge, but in the end, the payoff is likely there.

-Bryan Nagy